COVID-19 Government and International Response: April 11, 2020

What to Know

Globally there have been 1,724,736 cases of COVID-19 reported, up from 1,536,979 at 3:30 on Thursday. There are now 22,559 cases in Canada. Yesterday, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Canada has tested more than 380,000 people with 5% testing positive. Canada has tested more people than the United States (261,497 tests), despite only having a tenth the population.

Ontario now reports 6,648, up from 5,759 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. The province has now tested 96,321 individuals and reports 1,517 tests are currently under investigation.

CIBC CEO Victor Dodig says it’s important that COVID-19 measures help both landlords and tenants. In an interview with the National Post, Dodig stressed the importance of getting the message out and ensuring there is a “trickle down” of assistance, from the banks allowing property owners to defer loan payments, to owners passing savings from those deferrals on to tenants.

Federal

In his address to Canadians yesterday, Prime Minister Trudeau said the country is currently in the “first and worst” phase of the COVID-19 outbreak, but that if the public follows social distancing rules the country could come out of the current situation relatively quickly. “That is the ideal scenario but it only happens if we continue to stay strong for the coming weeks,” said the Prime Minister. A full return to normal won’t take place until a vaccine has been developed which the Prime Minister said could take between 6 and 18 months.

The Prime Minister also provided details about the government-guaranteed $40,000 loan, designed to help small business owners meet their immediate cash flow needs. If the loan is paid back within two years, 25 per cent or up to $10,000 is forgivable. More information from Prime Minister Trudeau about the Canada Emergency Business Account here.

The House of Commons is meeting today to approve the federal $73-billion wage subsidy bill. CPAC is carrying it live here.

Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Mary Ng spoke with India’s Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce and Industry yesterday about the steps both countries are taking to minimize disruptions to critical global supply chains related to essential medical products and pharmaceutical supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Phillippe Champagne co-presided a meeting of the UN’s Group of Friends of Sustainable Development Goals Financing. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss managing the socio-economic and financial impacts of COVID-19, in particular in developing countries.

The Government of Canada announced the establishment of the COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group which will advise the Minister on the real-time lived experiences of persons with disabilities during this crisis. The group will focus on disability-specific issues, challenges and systemic gaps and on strategies, measures and steps to be taken.

Provincial

This morning, the Ontario Government announced it has extended all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until April 23, 2020, including the closure of outdoor amenities in parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces, public places and bars and restaurants, along with restrictions on social gatherings and the prohibition of price gouging.

In addition, new measures have been introduced to address surge capacity in retirement homes, restrict recreational camping on Crown land, and allow the repurposing of existing buildings and temporary structures. These actions are based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Yesterday, the government announced it was expanding and enhancing its testing. The Province will begin proactively testing 10 priority groups including hospital inpatients, residents of long-term care homes, emergency services and other essential service workers. Ontario expects to double the number of tests processed each day to 8,000 by April 15, 2020 and 14,000 by April 29, 2020, at which point, the government says, overall lab capacity will have been further expanded.

On Thursday, Premier Ford announced that he has launched an Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee which will focus on getting businesses up and running and people back to work after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Members of this committee include senior provincial Ministers including Finance Minister Rod Phillips who will chair the committee, Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli, Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott and others.

Toronto

The City is planning a celebration for when life can get back to normal post-COVID, says the Mayor John Tory. The Mayor was on CP24 yesterday and said: We don’t have a date yet but we do have a plan to get the city back open and sort of celebrate that the city’s back open for business.

In a letter to Toronto’s police chief, Mark Saunders and the executive director of Municipal Licensing and Standards, Carleton Grant, Mayor Tory said that while the vast majority of Torontonians are practicing social distancing there remain “hundreds of people who don’t get it or won’t comply.” Police and bylaw officers have been having informal chats with residents who are not abiding by social distancing rules and regulations. In his Friday letter, the Mayor, who “cannot direct law enforcement as to how they enforce the law,” “offered his strong opinion” for stricter enforcement for social distancing violations to ensure residents abide by the rules.

The City is providing more information about the status of COVID-19 cases in Toronto. After 122 cases reported on Monday and 92 cases reported on Tuesday, Toronto’s numbers have dropped to only 18 new cases on Wednesday, 13 on Thursday and 1 on Friday. While it’s too early to declare victory, these numbers may demonstrate that social distancing measures could be having their desired effect.

International

Country Total cases at 1:00 p.m. Total cases Thursday at 3:30 p.m. Increase from previous Cases per million Total recovered Total deaths
Global 1,724,736 1,536,979 187,757 221.81 390,335 104,938
Canada 22,559 20,682 1,877 593.98 6,013 600
United States 507,422 455,243 52,179 1,539.71 29,139 19,602
China 81,953 81,865 88 58.45 77,525 3,339
India 7,529 5,865 1,664 5.53 653 242
Italy 152,271 143,626 8,645 2,527.6 32,534 19,468
Spain 161,883 152,474 9,409 3,436.98 59,109 16,480
Germany 123,771 115,738 8,033 1,488.54 49,358 2,710
United Kingdom 78,991 65,077 13,914 1,188.99 9,875
Brazil 19,943 16,238 3,705 94.37 1,074
Chile 6,501 5,972 529 340.24 1,571 65
Iran 70,029 67,286 2,743 840.37 41,947 4,357
Australia 6,292 6,109 189 245.16 3,141 56